Apparently, for one Chinese TV station, Lunar New Year celebrations aren't complete without a dash of racism involved. According to the BBC, a comedy sketch rightfully received backlash for featuring an Asian actress in blackface, butt pads and "traditional" African attire to hundreds of millions of viewers.
Chinese network CCTV ran the sketch as part of their four-hour New Year Gala, which is said to be the world's most-watched program. At the start of the sketch, dancers came out in tribal attire alongside others dressed up as animals. What's even weirder, they had an actual black woman as part of the sketch already, as the daughter of the actress in blackface. The sketch focused on the younger woman asking the Chinese male host to pretend to be her husband to meet her mother, but the joke gets a bit lost due to the whole, historically racist thing. The Asian actress was covered not only with brown makeup but also wore large butt and breast pads as well, carried a fruit basket on her head and was trailed closely by another actor dressed up as a monkey.
The sketch was supposed to highlight the positive relationship between African nations and China, showing Africans as thankful to China for their investments, which is a whole other can of political worms. China has been in hot water over racial insensitivity before, for everything from laundry commercials showing a black man "washed" to a much lighter skinned Asian man, and chat app WeChat translating "black foreigner" to "n*gger."
Viewers around the world of all races were angered by the sketch, so it's not enough to feign ignorance about the history and inappropriateness of blackface anymore. It seems pretty crazy that this is still a thing, with all of the information available about its terrible origins, but hopefully, the worldwide outrage is a start.